Larry Paros

Innovator, Educator, Writer

Dancing on the Contradictions

Transforming Our Schools, Our Students, and Ourselves

Available in stores and online, September 1, 2019

This is the life story of an "accidental" math teacher and his evolution into a radical educator, the students whose lives he touched, and his efforts to change the system of which they were a part. Grounded in real life, rather than abstract theory, it features vivid snapshots of interactions with students - often in their own words - the struggles that they and the author faced together, their resilience, and their mutual transformation.


A marvellous and stirring book about a veteran teacher's lovely gift for rising up and overcoming obstacles, refusing to be beaten down... How he transcended the autocratic ethos and the juggernaut of punitive instruction that's been foisted on us in the name of education. Teachers and parents — indeed, all of us who care about our children, and sometimes feel defeated by the meanness and the hard-nosed opposition that we face — will find in this irreverent book the energy to charge our batteries again.
Thank you, Larry Paros!
– Jonathan Kozol,
Author of Savage Inequalities and the Shame of the Nation
Larry Paros breathes the air of opposition rather than accommodation; he finds the romance, the interest, and the challenge of life in dissent against the status quo at a time when the power of injustice is so unfairly weighted against the marginalized and the down-trodden.
– Bill Ayers,
Professor of Education, University of Illinois, Ret.
Larry's story needs to be read and reread for us to grasp the nature of the schools we need — schools where trust is earned and where everything, including the classics can be used to open up a deeper understanding of racism, sexism and classism. As he reminds us, such settings are also places of joy, forging powerful relationships across the ages — leading to long-term networks of value throughout our lives.
– Deborah Meir,
Founder, Small Schools Movement
A magnificently written book that lays bare the sacrifices, anguish, pain and obscene inequalities one must face and overcome to not just teach but to re-imagine, redefine and demonstrate what's possible in America's urban schools. To create great schools, Larry Paros would not compromise, nor excuse, nor accept anything less for his students than the absolute best that he could imagine. In so doing, he won the respect of his opponents, the admiration of his peers, and the love of his students.
– Dr. Charles F. Desmond, CEO Inversant
Senior Fellow: New England Board of Higher Education
Past chair, Massachusetts Board of Higher Education
Just as the author attempted to transform education to meet the societal problems of previous decades, his experiences now stand as a guide to the visionaries who must again renew American schools to contend with the challenges of the modern age.
– Kirkus Reviews

Educational Innovation Highlights

Larry Paros | Dancing on the Contradictions | All Rights Reserved